What is Art?

What is art? Answers to this question typically set up a false dichotomy - art can only be understood by a select few “experts”, or art is only valuable in so far as it is marketable. Often, rather than lending understanding, our very attempt to define art limits its expression. Our blog would instead like to suggest that the elusiveness in defining art may actually be an answer in itself. If our view of art is determined by our experience and culture, then our expressions in art are a direct result of our unique experiences. There is a searching that takes place when we create and when we observe art. It is a search for purpose, for understanding. And so, it is possible that we are actually missing the point when we attempt to circumscribe art by defining it. It seems far more profitable to use art as it has always been intended; as a tool to understand our world, and reflect its beauty.

Additionally, as believers, we are then inclined to ask if art holds any distinct benefit to our Christian walk. When Psalm 19 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork," it assumes that the natural function of the creation is to respond in worship to its Creator.  The very existence of the Psalms, with their poetic structure and rhythm, testify that God delights to be worshiped through artistic expression.  Added to that, God saw it fit to bring His Word to us in written form, a book filled with not just psalms, but a whole host of artistically conceived writings that serve to reveal to humankind who God is and so perfect our praises of Him.  This blog seeks to enter into the practice and discussion of art for the good of the church; that we may affirm that God is good and created all things good, and that our worship is matured when we subdue the created world through art. 

We further intend to explore the questions above from a variety of angles, considering the many ways in which art in its various manifestations can enrich the Christian life, and how Christian faith transforms our experience of art.  We believe that all good things, whether created solely by God or co-created by humans, exist for God’s glory, and thus must (and shall) be reclaimed for His eternal kingdom.  This blog joins that mission by exploring the roles that art can play in deepening and enriching the Christian life to the glory of God.

Art & CultureBrian Williams